school's use of the Indian mascot is a "mockery" of the American Indian
community, inappropriate imagery for children and an educational and
moral issue that cannot be ignored.
"When the conquerors of any group of people take over the identity of
the conquered people, than full genocide has occurred," Herrod said.
School Supt. David Aponik, instead of Hubbell, responded on Aug. 2 to
Herrod with a letter stating that the district has "initiated a process
to ensure, both through symbolism and actions, that the image, history,
culture, traditions, heritage and religion of the Indian are treated with
the highest honor and respect."
However, in a July 20 memo to Burroughs principal Emilio Urioste,
Aponik assured Urioste that the "Indian shall continue as the mascot."
In that same memo, Aponik asked Urioste to develop and implement a
process this fall to study the school's use of the Indian with the help
of interested Burroughs students and others, and suggested using the
"services of an Indian history and culture specialist."
"My hope is to get students involved, because knowledge is power and
through education we can make change. It was not my intent to address Mr.
Herrod's moral concerns, but my intent is to respond to the situation in
a reasonable way," Aponik said in a telephone interview Thursday.
Herrod, who was asked indirectly by Aponik to be part of the dialogue
with the Burroughs' study group, said he has no interest, whatsoever, in
joining any discussions on the matter.
"They have a knife in my back, and all they're going to do is take it
out halfway? No way," Herrod said.
"What depth of knowledge do they have to decide what is offensive and
what isn't. I do not see the light at the end of the tunnel."
Aponik said the board has not agreed to appoint a committee to look at
the mascot's appropriateness, despite board member Trish Burnett's two
motions to do so, which failed for lack of a second both times from
fellow board members.
Burnett said Aponik's response does not adequately address what she
believes is a problem.
"This is simply to placate those who are upset by the Indian mascot,"
Burnett said. "This won't change the fact that Native Americans think the
mascot is offensive."